30 Minutes in the Life: December 2019: Festive Five

Ever since I have been a part of 30 minutes in the life, we have done a Festive Five theme at Christmas.  We are very conscious of the fact that this is a busy time of the year and each and every one of us has something going on.

Mine is a couple more than 5 and one I did not take but have added in to finish off the photo blog.

Christmas is always my favorite time of the year.  I love having the family gather in one place for a meal.  Over the years growing up I remember my fathers family all gathering together.  As a married adult, I gathered family at my home each Christmas.  Not only my immediate family and my brother’s wife’s family, but Richard’s family and their families in-laws as well, along with my adopted brother and his family.  So often we all want to spend Christmas day together and if it all works out that we can be together I love to do that.

Christmas is about love.  My love for my Lord, who in Himself was Love Incarnate. My love for my family.  My love for my jolly little fella’s who I lovingly unwrap each year and hang on the tree.  My love for decorating and making the home look festive and my love for sitting at a Christmas table and looking at the faces of those I love, admire and respect.

Christmas:  December 25, 2019: 9141

I only bake once a year.  It is at Christmas time.  This is when I remember my mother and how she would bake up a storm.  I pull out her shortbread recipe and I bake more than enough for the season.  This year got a little more technical.  I had to bake normal shortbread, gluten free shortbread, and vegan shortbread.  I take time to be grateful that I have the opportunity to be able to bake this variety because it means that I have my children in my life.

_MG_9068

I climb up in the attic after Thanksgiving and pull all my buddies down that I have collected over the years.  My penguin is about 25 years old.  My mother in law made it for me one year.  I love that I still have him and that I can remember how talented she was when it came to sewing.  Another thing that I am not very good at. My Santa was given to me by a friend about 10 years ago and I love to see him out and on display.  My snowman was given to me more recently.

Christmas:  December 25, 2019: 9129

My Christmas tree is decorated in jolly little fella’s.  It feels like I am finally seeing my little friends again.  This year I added 5 new Santa’s to my collection.  They come in all shapes and sizes and I try to always look for something different.  This year this guy was one of the newbies.  I also found a bottle top Santa that was pretty cool.  Each one is hung in a specific place, with my favorites being front and center.

Christmas:  December 25, 2019: 9130

In addition, I wanted to remember the family members who have been in our lives for so many years.  However, we do not necessary have typical names.  Mine is Sharleen, my mother was Daphne, my mother in law Yolande.  I cannot find Christmas ornaments with those names.  I am still looking.  I may eventually have to buy some that I can write the names on.  However, I did find one that had my nickname, Charlie, so that is hanging on the tree in place of my name for now.

Christmas:  December 25, 2019: 9131

The other memory I wanted to include is our pets.  So this year I looked all over for different types of pets.  I found a few.  My Noddy was a sausage dog (Dachshund) when I was growing up.  We had Labradors as well, Duke and Monty.  Richard and I had Flash a beautiful German Shepherd with a pedigree longer than ours.  We also had Bella, a Rottweiler.  Mika was our white German Shepherd.  Over the years we have had Oliver, a tuxedo cat, who has an ornament with angel wings.  He was the best.  Then we had Moonshine, a little all black cat.  We got Simba, our street rescue, who is a tabby kind of cat and he holds my heart.  Finally our last addition has been Mirrabel or Ms Moo as I call her.  She came to stay when we took someone in for a period of time.  Her owner left and she stayed.  That was 2 years ago.  She is mine now.  She is our scaredy cat who runs at the sounds of unknown voices.  However, she is also rapidly becoming my cat.  She has found her place on my stomach at night and loves to cuddle.  The ornament above represents Mirrabel, our little gray and white cat.

Christmas 2019: December 25, 2019:

Lastly I love to set the Christmas table and make it look pretty.  I really don’t do snowmen but I did love these two when I was out shopping.  Added to that everything has snowmen on them,  I got snowman plates and napkins.  I tied their napkin together with a letter ornament. I gathered a few other snowman ornaments.  Initially I wanted snowmen snow globes but I wasn’t finding exactly what I wanted.  I had a runner in tartan that I forgot to put out but maybe I will use it next year 🙂 Oh and white beads in all sizes make great snowballs.

Below is an image of each place setting which my daughter-in-law took, because I was in the kitchen getting everything ready and forgot to do it.  Thanks to Kathryn I have another place setting to remember.  Every so often I go back and look at the different designs I have had over the years and remember the folks that have sat at the table and smile and know that I have been blessed to be able to share that little bit of time together with others.

80385970_10221557569991027_3930782020946362368_o (1)

I do hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.  As this year rapidly draws to a close, I would like to wish you a very Happy New Year.  I hope that this coming year is filled with family and friends, new and old, laughter and joy, good memory making moments.

In my mothers tradition, I will once again put outside the front door, a cookie, a drink, and a piece of coal.  May there always be food in the house, something to drink and may you never go cold.

Thank you for joining me for 30 Minutes in the Life, and for traveling with me through this incredible journey in time. Remembering is what I do and I love to do it.  Just a reminder that this is a circle blog, and I would encourage you to take some time to visit my very talented friend Jess of the Art of Adventure and see what she has for you this month.  I am pretty  excited to learn more about these wonderful ladies from all over the world.  I would certainly encourage you to visit their pages.  
30 minutes contributor

 

Share Six: December 2019: Light

This time of the year is definitely about {Light} and that is our theme for the month.  I drive through the neighborhood and the palm trees are wrapped in lights, the houses are decorated with twinkling icicle lights.  I even got out and put my lights up this year for the first time since I had the last foot surgery.  Light definitely makes the world go around.

The sun is a natural agent of light.  We were away camping on the west coast and woke up to the sunlight being dispersed through the branches of the trees.  I loved the sunflare that appeared in the image.  It was a chilly morning but I could not help but grab a cup of coffee and head outside to watch the start of the day.  Ok I grabbed my camera as well 🙂

Collier Seminole: Mar 2013: 087

 

Pockets of light in dark areas are great to capture.  Walking through one of the local wetlands the boardwalk is kind of dark and gloomy and just a little isolated.  It always feels a bit weird walking through on my own.  But I do because I love catching moments like this image below.

Green Cay Wetlands: June 3, 2018:

 

Artificial light is fun as well.  We were at Epcot and happened to walk out of one of the themes.  My feeling was that it was a space related theme and the walk way out was lit up in this red contrast(y) light.  I loved the eerie feel about this walkway.

Kennedy Space Center: December 28, 2017: 8558

 

Sunsets are another favorite light moment for me.  Another local park and a beautiful still evening as the sun set in the west.  Moments like this have me being thankful for the glorious beauty of creation.

sunset boca

 

Fireworks are such fun forms of light.  I have spent some time trying to capture different images of light.  The picture below was taken at the park above once it was dark.  The light display was awesome and I was glad I managed to walk away with some images that I was happy with.

Fireworks:  July 4, 2019: 8514

 

Epcot was another amazing display of light.  You kind of hang on to the last moments at the park despite how tired you may be just was watch the incredible fireworks display.  The sky  lit up with bursts of light and I have to confess these were some of my favorite fireworks that evening.

Epcot 2019:  March 8, 2019: 3337

 

One of my favorite light images is the out of focus Christmas trees.  The bokeh light is divine and taken with the Lensbaby sweet 35 you manage to capture some interesting images.

51-52

 

Richard and I can never agree on white lights or colored lights.  I am all for colored lights simply because of this type of image.  For me it is fun.  I love this start to the Christmas season.  I just wish we had a fire place and a warm cozy fire going on.  Not that we need it down in the south but I will say the last two days have given us a little show of winter and I sincerely hope that we get a few more days like the days we have had this week.

Christmas Bokeh:  Deccember 18, 2018:  0412

 

Light is incredible and without it all things would be dark.  And even in the dark, there is still a twinkling of light.  This past week the moon was a sliver and the bright light below was Venus, and to the left the tiny light is Saturn. I love looking at astro photography and I think that would be something I would love to experiment with.

Out on the back canal: Nov 28, 2019:  8465

 

Thank you for joining me for this month’s Share Six blog post.  This is a circle blog.  From the sneak peak images I have seen, you are going to want to follow the circle.  Please take time to visit my friend and very talented artist Kathy of KG Kedbetter Photography and see what she has for you this month. To check out her Facebook page click here and her Instagram page here.

Keep following the circle to see what the other photographers have shared this month. Don’t forget to leave a little love on their page as well.

Come and share your images  Facebook and Instagram tagging #sharesix_light

Finally throw some positive thoughts my way – my major project that I have been working on for the past 6 months experiences D-Day today.  Data migration is happening as I share this blog and we will be going live on Tuesday. I am anxiously waiting to know that everything has gone according to plan. 

Thank you to the blog contributors for another awesome year of collaborating together.  This is a fantastic group of ladies and I love each one’s interpretation of the theme each month.  Thank you to you all for stopping by and checking out our blogs and to everyone who contributes on our Facebook and Instagram pages.  We love seeing your images.

I wish you and your family a safe and festive season.  Enjoy the moments, busy and quiet.  Make sure that you tell your family how much you love and enjoy being with them. Share lots of hugs.  Don’t get caught up in the stress of the season.  This is all about love, joy and goodwill to all men.  Merry Christmas to you all.

 

Tell me a story: November 2018

Life is hectic, Thanksgiving has come and gone and the blog goes live tomorrow.  Work is gearing up to d-day in 10 days and so my time has become somewhat limited.  Christmas decorations need to go up this weekend and the blog needs to be done.

In all of this busyness, Richard, knowing that I needed some down time suggested we head to the beach to watch the sunrise and then go for breakfast, knowing that once I got home I had work to do.  He even chose to go to my favorite beach.

As most of you know early morning is really not my thing, but the moon was pretty cool this particular morning and as it has been for the rest of the week.  Last night I was able to identify Venus and Saturn floating around the moon.  I love this pier and the early morning sky was pretty spectacular as the sun was coming up.  This particular morning the reflections on the edge of the waves was pretty neat.

Deerfield Beach: Day before Hurricane Dorian: Nov 24, 2019: 3620

Deerfield Beach: Day before Hurricane Dorian: Nov 24, 2019: 8336

Deerfield Beach: Day before Hurricane Dorian: Nov 24, 2019: 8348

Deerfield Beach: Day before Hurricane Dorian: Nov 24, 2019: 8357

Deerfield Beach: Day before Hurricane Dorian: Nov 24, 2019: 8360

Deerfield Beach: Day before Hurricane Dorian: Nov 24, 2019: 8362

Deerfield Beach: Day before Hurricane Dorian: Nov 24, 2019: 8369

Deerfield Beach: Day before Hurricane Dorian: Nov 24, 2019: 8350

Deerfield Beach: Day before Hurricane Dorian: Nov 24, 2019: 8376

Deerfield Beach: Day before Hurricane Dorian: Nov 24, 2019: 8384

Deerfield Beach: Day before Hurricane Dorian: Nov 24, 2019: 8390

Deerfield Beach: Day before Hurricane Dorian: Nov 24, 2019: 8395

I really wanted to finish up the Boston blog but that was not happening for me this week.  So the morning on the beach is what I have to offer.  I have to be honest Richard was right, I needed that time to decompress.

Thank you for joining me this month as we spend time sharing another day in our lives.  This is a circle blog.  Take some time to view what the other artists have for you this month.  Mindy Sauvageau  is up next and I can’t wait to read what she has to share.

 

30 Minutes in the Life: November 2019

30 Minutes in the Life came around so quickly this month that I think we have all been taken by surprise.

For my share this month we are heading to Boston.  I loved visiting Boston and if you have not been there, certainly add it to your stopping point.  It is a great city and we walked, seriously walked, the city.  From it strong Irish community , to it’s lively Italian influence Boston has so much to offer.  The people were friendly and offered assistance to two travelers with maps. They struck up conversations, especially when we spoke with foreign accents.  This is what makes traveling so much fun.

I am sure I have mentioned this before, but I will repeat it.  I am a planner when it comes to traveling.  Prior to heading out, I have researched and have a list of places I want to see.  Some people may find this exhausting, but I hate going to a place with no clue what I want to do.

While researching things to do and see in Boston, I came across Trinity Church,  The Episcopal Diocese.  I love visiting churches, particularly Catholic Churches because of the beauty of the buildings.  Unlike the Catholic Church, the Episcopal Church falls under the Protestant line and the influences of the Church of England, which broke away from the Roman Catholic Church.

I will confess that this is only the second time I have seen a Protestant Church so ornately designed with such incredible depiction of the teachings of the bible.   Trinity Church dates back to 1733 in its original origins.  This was 150 years prior to the building of the current church which is now recognized as a National Monument. Besides for sharing the actual building a will share a brief synopsis of the depictions I photographed.

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 1639

Juxtaposed, against a modern city, this beautiful architecture is breath taking and so incredible.  Of course there is little room to move when shooting all the angles, and of course, you cannot get away from construction, people and cars.

I loved how the modern buildings reflected the beautiful church.

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 1673Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 1676Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 1658

The church sits on the famous Copely Square.  In 1872, after the second home to the church burned down, the then rector, Phillip Brooks along with a few others, cast a vision for the new home for the church.

Henry Richardson was the designer of the church.  A clay roof, polychromy, rough stone, heavy arches, and a massive tower are features of the church found today.   The stone used is a called Dedham Granite.  It’s features are a light grayish-pink to greenish-gray. The stone is an equigranular material, which is composed chiefly of crystals of similar orders of magnitude to one another.

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 1645

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 1647

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 1653

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 1654

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 1655

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018:

I walked around the church a couple of times, looking at all the different angles. The work was impressive.  The style of architecture and the stone used give longevity to the building.  The green mold highlighting the dampness and cold of the city.  We were there at a time when the air was cold, but the winter weather had not begun in full.

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 1659

Walking onto the square and looking up at the building, I was moved with the story telling in each of the scenes depicted along the frontage of the building.  Representing the 4 Gospels of the Bible were Mathew, Mark, Luke and John.  Each gospel takes on a different viewpoint of the the history of Jesus Christ.  Each of the disciples, Matthew and John, were called knowing that the road would not be easy, that they would be persecuted and that there was every possibility that they would die a martyr.  Mark and Luke were both influenced by the teachings of Jesus Christ, and committed to serving His people.

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 1695

Mathew, we are told in the bible was a Tax Collector.  From that we gather that he was a man of education. The book of Mathew is written primarily to the Jewish Nation.  Matthew emphasizes that Jesus Christ came to fulfill Old Testament prophesies.  It is believed that Matthew was burned at the stake

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 1693

Mark was believed to be the son of a prominent follower of Jesus.  He is believed to be in his teens when Jesus came to Jerusalem.  After the resurrection, Mark traveled with the Apostle Paul.  He also traveled with Peter to Rome.  While Peter was in prison in Rome, Mark stayed with him.  Mark’s book include what he witnessed and Peter’s memories.  Mark died a brutal death. They placed a rope around his neck and dragged him through the streets until he was dead.

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 1666

Luke was a Gentile physician, who traveled with Paul.  He did not know Jesus, and it is believed that he came to know about Christ through traveling with Paul.  His gospel is based on the words of eye witnesses to the story of Christ.  The gospel of Luke is the only gospel written by a Gentile.  Luke was the only person to remain with Paul until he died. History has it that Luke was hanged from an olive tree.  However, scholars will argue that he died in Greece at the age of 84.  Others believe he was martyred after the death of Paul.

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 1668

John was known as the Beloved Disciple of Jesus and often refers to himself as the “disciple Jesus most loved”, and is often referenced as the disciple leaning in to Jesus at the last supper.  John writes of different things to the other gospels, including the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist.  John’s gospel is primarily to the church who knew about Jesus.  Aside from writing the Gospel of John (his view of Christ), he wrote three epistles (how he dealt with the church) and the book of Revelation (the future through the vision God gave him)

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 1663

Between the apostles on either side were women of the bible.  Between Luke and John were Mary and her sister Martha (sisters of Lazarus), and Mary Magdalene. Between Matthew and Mark, were Mary (Mother of Jesus), Elizabeth (mother of John the Baptist) and Anna (the woman who prophesied about Jesus and was an old woman when she witnessed Jesus at the temple).

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 1692

There are depictions of Jesus being baptized by John the Baptist, when the Holy Spirit came to Jesus in the form of a dove.  This was prior to Jesus spending 30 days and 30 nights in the wilderness where he is tempted by Satan.

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 1694

There are depictions of Jesus teaching at the temple.  While he was teaching the teachers of the law were trying to kill him.

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 1667

There is a depiction of the last supper, where Jesus gathered his disciples together to have a meal before he headed into Jerusalem towards his final days. It was at this supper that Jesus shared that one of them would betray him.  That man was Judas Iscariot.  Judas was the keeper of the money bag for the disciples, also listed as a thief and that he used his position for his own personal gain.  After Jesus was crucified, Judas realizing his error threw the 30 coins of silver in the temple and went out and hung himself.

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018:

The final depiction that I photographed was what was described as the majestic, triumphant entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem, on the back of a donkey, with his follows waving palm leaves and laying their clothes on the ground as he passed through.  Little did his follows or his disciples know what was to come in the next weeks.

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 1664
The corners of the building show Isiah, Moses, Abraham and Paul.  Alongside them is depicted, Samuel, David, Solomon, Daniel & Elijah, all old Testament cornerstones.  
Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 1669
The Apostle Paul, originally known as Saul was born to a wealthy family in Tarsus and was considered a Roman citizen.  Saul hated Christians and readily persecuted them.  Paul was witness to the stoning of Stephen.  On the road to Damascus, Saul encountered Jesus, and as a result had a life changing story.  Saul’s name changed to Paul and beyond that he makes it his life mission to share the gospel with the Jewish people.  Paul traveled through many countries, along with Mark for a while, but also Luke, sharing the gospel and preforming miracles.  He was crucial to the unifying of the Christian church.  Paul had a number of assassination attempts on his life and was held under house arrest.  While is is not know how Paul died, history believes that he was beheaded by the Romans.  
Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 1681
Inside Trinity Church are incredible murals and stained glass windows.  While I got to see some of the windows, sadly I was not able to get inside the church itself. 
 
Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 1683

Walking around the back of the church I spotted this bicycle stationed at one of the back entrances.  I loved the feeling that you would be welcomed in.

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 1653

Something that has always fascinated me is why some churches have gargoyles.  I saw it at this church. Norte Dame has them.  I recently saw it at a local Episcopal Church in West Palm Beach, while doing a photoshoot.  Reading last night the gargoyle is a ugly form carved or molded into a shape and used as a water spout on many of these buildings.  The purpose was to preserve the masonry of the building.  They were apparently also meant to inspire fear into the parishioners reminding them of the evil outside of the parish.  The gargoyle I saw recently was not a water spout but a interesting little fella hanging out on the edge of a wall.

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018:1685

Trinity Church is unique for anyone to visit.  It is not just about believing in Christianity.  The architecture is fantastic, the stories are told in such an incredible way through the talented gifts of an artist.  You cannot help but be moved by the beauty of this building.

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 1687
Thank you for joining me for 30 Minutes in the Life, and for traveling with me through this incredible journey in time.  Despite or in spite of what you believe, visiting this church will be worth your while.  Definitely a stopping point in Boston.  
Just a reminder that this is a circle blog.  We have a number of new ladies join the 30 minutes group, and I would encourage you to take some time to visit my very talented friend Janet  of Janet Crouch Photography and see what she has for you this month.  I am pretty  excited to learn more about these wonderful ladies from all over the world.  I would certainly encourage you to visit their pages.  

Share Six: November 2019: Portraits

Wow, 2 more months and it is the end of the year.  I feel like the year has just flown and I and caught up in the whirlwind.  I am 4 weeks out from going live with a new EMR system that we have been busy customizing the past 3 months.  I find myself thinking “when am I going to have time to get out and go and play again”  Added to that I think my camera is going on vacation to Canon without me.  Ever since we visit Niagara, I feel like the images have been a little soft, and I keep getting a message to clean my camera when I do multiple images.  I did have it cleaned locally but the issue happened again.  Ugh!!  I know I question myself when I took the camera into the water but I did it anyway.  Lesson learned.

This month the theme for the month is {Portraits}.  This fitted right in with my time frame.  My daughter recently asked me to do some photo’s of her.  She wanted to update her social media images.  She arrived with a change of clothes and we went outside into the garden.  The neighbors garage wall was the back drop and I had some fun with her.

Amy has always been my go-getter.  She worked hard at school, worked hard at university, and then decided to join the Peace Corp where she spent 27 months in Macedonia.  She is now back on home soil and has joined the rest of the working world.  She has packed a lot into the time she has been home, buying a condo, getting married, gained two kittens and heading out to work each day.

I love black and white images, and knowing her personality, I decided this month to do them all in black and white, going from blown out to just a little grungy.

_MG_0672

Amy E:  August 24, 2019: 0859

Amy E:  August 24, 2019: 0798

Amy E:  August 24, 2019: 0651

Amy E:  August 24, 2019: 0857

Amy E:  August 24, 2019: 0710

Amy E:  August 24, 2019: 0690

Amy E:  August 24, 2019: 0727

Amy E:  August 24, 2019: 0784

Thank you for joining me for this month’s Share Six blog post.  This is a circle blog.  From the sneak peak images I have seen, you are going to want to follow the circle.  Please take time to visit my friend and very talented artist Katherine of Cobert Photography and see what she has for you this month. Keep following the circle to see what the other photographers have shared this month.  Don’t forget to leave a little love on their page as well.

Come and share your images  Facebook and Instagram tagging #sharesix_portrait

Tell me a story: October 2019: Fort Clinch

For the longest time I have wanted to visit Fort Clinch and see what the State Park was like.  For most of our trips we have gone as far as St Augustine, and not gone any further.  Recently we did a trip to Cumberland Island and we took a detour along the coast and at my request we stopped at Fort Clinch.

Imagine a a flat image of a house (pentagon) with it’s roof pointing towards the ocean.  That is the aerial view of Fort Clinch.  The fort has double layers of outer walls, with a sunken interior courtyards, and 2-story buildings used as bunkhouses.

Walking up to the Fort you do not get the full impression of it size of it’s shape.

Fort Clinch:  October 11, 2019: 1992

You enter over a drawbridge and through a long tunnel.  Side doors flank the tunnel giving access to the space between the double wall where soldiers would position themselves to fire at the enemy.

Fort Clinch:  October 11, 2019: 2001

Today Fort Clinch is part of the Florida State Parks and is an attraction that many visit.  But like all forts it has it’s history

Fort Clinch:  October 11, 2019: 2004

Fort Clinch:  October 11, 2019:  2005

Fort Clinch:  October 11, 2019: 2010

Back in the 1700’s the area was occupied by the Spanish, who then held the colonies.  Situated at the entrance of the St Mary’s River and Cumberland Island, many nations occupied and fortified the area.

Fort Clinch:  October 11, 2019: 2012Fort Clinch:  October 11, 2019: 2014Fort Clinch:  October 11, 2019: 2016

Around the end of the Seminole Wars, the United States began to build a fort, and in 1847 it was named Fort Clinch. The fort construction used approximately 5 million bricks to complete it.

Fort Clinch:  October 11, 2019: 2018Fort Clinch:  October 11, 2019: 2022Fort Clinch:  October 11, 2019: 2025

In 1861 Confederate soldiers took command of the fort and during the Civil War proceeded to use it as a safe haven for blockade runners.

Fort Clinch:  October 11, 2019: 2027Fort Clinch:  October 11, 2019:

In March of 1862, the fort was abandoned and was later occupied by Federal troops in order to take control of the Georgia Florida waterways.  Throughout the Civil War Fort Clinch was used as a Union base.

Fort Clinch:  October 11, 2019: 2036Fort Clinch:  October 11, 2019: 2044Fort Clinch:  October 11, 2019: 2045

In 1898 the fort was abandoned and left to deteriorate.  In the 1930’s during the Great Depression, the Civilian Conservation Corps began the restoration of the fort. In 1935 the fort and land around it was purchased by the State of Florida to become what is now Fort Clinch State Park

Fort Clinch:  October 11, 2019: 2047Fort Clinch:  October 11, 2019:Fort Clinch:  October 11, 2019: 2068

During WW2, the fort was used as a communications and security post, and post war was opened back up to public viewing.

Fort Clinch:  October 11, 2019: 2073Fort Clinch:  October 11, 2019: 2075

As you can see I was fascinated by the contrasting lights of the windows, rooms and passageways.

Fort Clinch:  October 11, 2019: 2090Fort Clinch:  October 11, 2019: 2091Fort Clinch:  October 11, 2019: 2098

I was glad that we took the time to stop by and view this fort.  I would certainly encourage you to stop by.   The fort is interesting and there are lots of like tunnels and walkways to venture through.  The courtyard is big and if you are there on the weekend you may catch a Civil War re-enactment.

This is a circle blog so click here to see what ___________ has for you this month has for you this month.

You can also find me on FacebookFlickrInstagramGoogle+ and Viewbug.

 

 

30 Minutes in the Life: October 2019

I will confess that this is going more than 30 minutes but I wanted to share the day at the island in one blog.  For a while now I have wanted to take a trip to Cumberland Island.  Where is it you may ask.  Cumberland Island is situated on the very tip of Georgia and is is just across the river mouth from Fernandina Beach in Florida.  Of course, we are at practically at the opposite tip of Florida, so it is a good 5 hour trip just to get out of Florida.  We were heading to St Mary’s in Georgia.  We arrived late afternoon after spending some time exploring Fort Clinch in Fernandina Beach. More about that later this week.  St Mary’s has a ferry that travels from the town directly to Cumberland Island.

St Mary's Georgia:  October 11, 2019: 2112

Why Cumberland Island?  For the longest time I have heard and read about wild horses on the island.  A bit of research also told me that there were also some ruins to visit.  Those two items were my goal.  We arrived at St Mary’s with enough time to check into our B&B called the Goodbread House.  This was a quaint multi-roomed house that had different themed rooms and a lot of knicks and knacks.  Our hosts were very friendly and got us settled into the Gable and Lombard room very efficiently.  I will add that the bathroom was dedicated to Marilyn Munro and Elvis Presley.  Such fun.

St Mary's Georgia:  October 11, 2019: 2133

We had to go out for dinner and so we started to walk down the main street looking for different options and finally found ourselves at a place called 401.  Out in the gardens they had live music while we waited for a table to come free.  The music was awesome and they had a great selection of songs.  Dinner was the best, and added to that, I was able to photograph this beautiful sunset.

St Mary's Georgia:  October 11, 2019: 2143

8am and we are packed up and ready to head out to the island.  We had to go and get our tickets at a local office and pay the fee to go on the island and then it was a 5 minute walk to the ferry where everyone was waiting.  I was thinking way to many people but I am happy to say that the island was so big that we really did not encounter that many people.

Cumberland Island trip Georgia:  October 11, 2019: 2106

My goal of course was to find the horses and see the ruins, and so we began our walk down the road towards the ruins. One thing I love about Northern Florida and Georgia is the Spanish Moss that covers the trees.  It kind of gives that eerie kind of feeling.  We had tried to plan out how much time it would take us to get around the course we had planned.  3-4 hours which would give us enough time to make it back to the 2:45 ferry.

Cumberland Island trip Georgia:  October 11, 2019: 2241

The island is made up of various sectors of nature, the wooded area, the marshy area, the rolling dunes and the wide open beaches.  We started off by walking through the wooded area, along a long road towards the ruins.  While there was not a lot of color, every so often I would spot a flower or some autumn looking leaves.

Cumberland Island trip Georgia:  October 11, 2019: 2250

We spotted our first horses as we walked towards the ruins.  I was so excited.  My horses were the tame kind of wild horses.  Actually we were warned that if we had apples, not to show them to the horses. They were kind of pushy in their endeavor to get to your apples.  These two did not do much more than eat grass and walk away from us.  But still I was pretty stoked.

Cumberland Island trip Georgia:  October 11, 2019: 2253

Cumberland Island trip Georgia:  October 11, 2019: 2255

There were two horses at the entrance, one was slightly bigger than the other.

Cumberland Island trip Georgia:  October 11, 2019: 2259

Our first view of Dungeness Ruins was as we passed the horses.   History has it that this was the winter home of Thomas Carnegie.  He lived there with his wife and 9 children. Soon after the home was constructed Thomas died.  His wife Lucy and the family continue to live there. She made alterations to the house to make it bigger.  In 1916 Lucy Carnegie passed away.  In 1959 the house caught on fire and today only the ruins remain.  We were able to walk around the house but could not go into the ruins.  Based on the ruins, the house must have been spectacular in it’s day.

Cumberland Island trip Georgia:  October 11, 2019: 2269

Cumberland Island trip Georgia:  October 11, 2019: 2274

Cumberland Island trip Georgia:  October 11, 2019: 2278

In front of the ruins is where I saw my third horse, once again eating grass.  This horse did show a little more interest in us.  I actually loved seeing the horse against the backdrop of these incredible ruins.

Cumberland Island trip Georgia:  October 11, 2019: 2280

Cumberland Island trip Georgia:  October 11, 2019: 2283

Cumberland Island trip Georgia:  October 12, 2019: 2286

Cumberland Island trip Georgia:  October 11, 2019: 2288

We walked beyond the ruins heading towards the marshy area.  On our way we saw this pack of 3 horses, and just beyond that another 3 were working there way towards this group.

Cumberland Island trip Georgia:  October 11, 2019: 2292

We continued down a pathway, through a walkway, down a slight incline, and there we were, walking along a boardwalk towards the marshland.  It was so flat and had weaving waterways.  It was great to see an Osprey overhead doing some fishing, and a Great Blue Heron hanging out in the water.  Richard also got to see a Spoonbill wading through the water sifting through the sand to find some treats.  We did not stay to long in this area before pushing on to the sand dunes.

Cumberland Island trip Georgia:  October 11, 2019: 2300

It would be remiss to have an island habitat, without the carrion hunters and we came across 6 Black Vultures as we walked across the sand dunes.  I love the Black Vultures.  The are so elegant when compared to the Turkey Vulture, who in my opinion, is really quite ugly.

Cumberland Island trip Georgia:  October 11, 2019:

The soft sand gave way to the waters edge.  We were asked to cross the dunes at designated points so as not to do damage to the beautiful dunes.

Cumberland Island trip Georgia:  October 11, 2019: 2310

In front of us, was a view of the island beach, stretching beyond where I imagined we would need to go, until Richard said we were walking to where all the people were and that looked a long long way away.

Cumberland Island trip Georgia:  October 11, 2019: 2313

The first casualty of the ocean that we came across was a Horseshoe Crab.  Apparently they are not actually a true crab.  Interestingly they apparently move to shallow waters during breeding season.  The female can lay up to 120 000 eggs and then the male will come along and fertilize them.  Sadly most of them do not make it as the shore birds eagerly snatch up the eggs.

Cumberland Island trip Georgia:  October 11, 2019: 2328

The second interesting item found on the beach was what appeared to be a buoy.  Clearly it had been around a while and was totally rusted in places.

Cumberland Island trip Georgia:  October 11, 2019: 2334

The second casualty that I found was this perfectly formed crab body.  Look at those pincers.  I happened to spend some time before the boat left watching a couple of crabs fighting with each other.  Those pincers are serious weapons.

Cumberland Island trip Georgia:  October 11, 2019: 2336

As we move down the beach we noticed a huge flock of terns hanging out at the edge of the water.  As Richard walked along I was hoping that the birds would take off.  They kept just moving to the end of the group.  No major take off.

Cumberland Island trip Georgia:  October 11, 2019: 2404

Cumberland Island trip Georgia:  October 11, 2019: 2412

Cumberland Island trip Georgia:  October 11, 2019: 2428

Just beyond the sand dunes and the sea grasses we found a fallen log.  It was there that we ate our picnic lunch that the B&B has secured for us – cold meat stuffed inside pita bread, a packet of chips and some peanut butter crackers and some ice cold water.  It was so peaceful and I was grateful to stop for a short while.

Cumberland Island trip Georgia:  October 11, 2019: 2452

Heading across the boardwalk the stretched along the dunes I spotted a bit of color.

Cumberland Island trip Georgia:  October 11, 2019: 2453

A close up on the sea grass normally known Sea Oats.  The Sea Oats is a subtropical coastal grass typically found on sand dunes and beach areas.

Cumberland Island trip Georgia:  October 11, 2019: 2455

And just like that we were heading back into the shaded wooded pathways that lead back to the campsites and the ferries.  Oh yes you can camp on the island, but be warned, it is rustic camping.  There is no electricity and showers are heated with a solar bag system.  From what I have heard, when the sun goes down the mosquito’s and no see ems come out to play.  Thankfully we were not camping, because they do love me.

Cumberland Island trip Georgia:  October 11, 2019: 2463

Cumberland Island trip Georgia:  October 11, 2019: 2462

One of the highlights of the trip heading back to the mainland was Richard spotting a dolphin.  The pictures are not perfect, but it was an amazing moment.  The dolphin was swimming just ahead of the boat and kept popping up out of the water.  It traveled with us for quite a way before it dived deep.  Trying to time when the dolphin would appear was hard, but it was worth hanging over the edge of the boat to see this beautiful mammal.

Cumberland Island trip Georgia:  October 11, 2019:  2569

Cumberland Island trip Georgia:  October 11, 2019: 2581

45 minutes later we are back at St Mary’s and ready to disembark, drop off the cooler bag, and head out.  Next stop was Vilano Beach in St Augustine.  However, look out for our visit to Fort Clinch later this week. We had stopped at the fort on the way up to St Mary’s.

Thank you for joining us for another month of 30 Minutes. Just a reminder that this is a circle blog.  I would encourage you to take some time to visit my very talented friend Jess from Crystal of Crystal Bella Photography and see what she has for you this month.  I am pretty  excited to learn more about these wonderful ladies from all over the world.  I would certainly encourage you to visit their pages

 

Share Six: October 2019: Pink

For Share Six this month we will be doing our final Disease awareness highlight for 2019.

For all of you ladies, and men, out there, this month is Breast Awareness Month and pink is our color.  I have a cousin who was diagnosed and fought to win against breast cancer.  Two years ago, a fellow photographer was diagnosed with breast cancer and I followed her journey, prayed for her recovery, and have witnessed an extraordinarily strong woman have to deal with a painful part of her life. Our own Janet Douglas is a breast cancer survivor as well.

South County Park: July 4, 2017: 5692

Now I will confess to being a bit of an ostrich.  If I stick my head in the sand it will go away.  Honestly, the less I know the better I feel.  That way I do not have to worry about anything.  But I know that is not the best way to look at life.

Lily: March 13, 2017: 9320

However, if I am worried about it I will definitely do something.  I had never had a mammogram.  I had heard that they hurt like hell.  I was staying away from that lady and the jaws of death…  And then I had a pain in an area that I should not have had pain in and so I pulled up the big girl panties and headed off to the gynecologist who automatically sent me off for a mammogram.  I sucked it up, only to find that I either had an exceptional radiographer or it was not as bad as I had been led to believe.   Turned out I had muscle pain.  That was good news but I will be honest and confess that I was a little nervous.  I know that I will need to go for another one in the near future.  I won’t put it off for too long this time.

Green Cay Wetlands: August 22, 2015 6171

Ladies check your breasts regularly.  If you are bathing or showering take time to feel for changes in the normal structure of your breasts.  Look for a change in the size and shape of your breast.  If you have pain in your breast, don’t let it go, get it checked out.  If you are not breastfeeding and have nipple discharge, get it checked out.  If you find a lump in your breast or under your arm, get it checked out.  Be proactive, rather than reactive. The consequences of pushing it aside could be a long and heartbreaking journey, which you may survive or you may not.  Don’t let it go.  Take a look at the CDC site for more information on breast cancer

9-52

While it may be uncommon, Men, you don’t get off Scot free.  Like woman, if diagnosed early enough you have a good chance for cure.  Watch out for thickening of the breast tissue, or a random lump that is not painful.  If you have changes to the skin area of the breast. If it is red, dimpled, puckering or scaling, get it checked out.  Discharge or changes to the nipple area, get it checked out.  For more information on cancer in men, take a look at this site at the Mayo Clinic

Out on the back canal: June 4, 2017: 4388

Remember be proactive, rather than reactive.  While we have not had breast cancer in our family, my husband has had a melanoma, that spread to the glands under his arms.  I knew the fear of being newly married with a husband who now had one of the deadliest cancers I knew of.  He survived but it could have gone the other way.  My dad was not so lucky.  He had pancreas cancer. His time was very short once diagnosed.  Don’t leave it.  When it is too late, it is definitely too late.

Wakodahatchee Wetlands: DFebruary 4, 2018: 0409

What are some of the risk factors for breast cancer:

  • Getting older
  • Genetic Mutations
  • Reproductive history
  • Having dense breasts
  • Personal history of breast cancer or some non cancerous breast diseases
  • Family history of breast cancer
  • Previous treatment using radiation therapy

 

Bokeh:  November 14, 2017: 6756

Some of the ways that breast cancer is treated:

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Hormonal therapy
  • Biological therapy
  • Radiation therapy

Some of the side effects of treatment:

  • Hair Loss
  • Nausea
  • Tiredness
  • Skin Changes

Most of my information has been researched on the CDC site

If you are dealing with breast cancer, you have my heart.  The journey I followed with my photographer friend, has been up and down, good days and bad days, laughter and tears, sometimes more tears than laughter.  She has been strong.  She was fighting for her life, for the opportunity to have more years with her husband and her young children.  It has not been easy for her, but she has stayed strong, and even on the hard days she has been as positive as she can be.

Out on the back canal: May 27, 2018: 4961

This month the theme color is pink.  I have to confess pink is not my favorite color.  Added to that work has been crazy and I did not have time to go out searching for pink.  So today I am sharing some of my favorite pink images I have in my files.

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 9577

This last image speaks to me.  While in New York in July ’19, I saw a lady selling photographs which I really loved.  However, we were just starting out on our day’s activities and I could not see how I could carry it around, take photographs and not damage the image.  Walking along the highline, I happened to look down at the Chelsea Market and spotted this image on the side wall of the Chelsea Market and I fell in love.  The artist Kobra did an amazing piece of work not only on the Chelsea Market wall but further along as well. I will confess that there was a street light in the middle of my image which I painstakingly took 5 hours to remove to get the end result of this image.

Mother Theresa, born Mary Teresa Bojaxhiu, in Skopje Macedonia, is one of the women that I admire.  Simple, humble and caring, she tried to emulate unconditional love all her life to the women of India.  In 1948 Mother Theresa began her missionary work to the poor.  She labored in the slums of Calcutta. To be willing to give your all, humbles me.  She humbles me. 

On a side note, I hope to go to Macedonia next year, to celebrate the marriage (18 months later) of my daughter to her husband Daniel with his family.   

Mahatma Ghandi, was born in Gujarat, Western India.  He trained to be a lawyer, but when that was not working out so well, he traveled to South Africa to assist an Indian merchant in a law suit.  Ghandi stayed in South Africa over 21 years, actually living in a area not far from where I grew up, years before I was born.  The house had been memorialized over the years.  He was a civil right activist in South Africa.  In 1915 he returned to India.  In 1948 Ghandi was assassinated on his way to a prayer meeting. If you have not ever watched the movie, check out Ben Kingsley in his role as Ghandi. It was excellent.

In the words of Mother Theresa “Peace begins with a smile“, and that is what I see in both faces in this image.  Let us try to spread love with a smile, with all those we come in contact with.  Remember to be proactive rather than reactive.

Thank you for joining me for this month’s Share Six blog post.  This is a circle blog.  From the sneak peak images I have seen, you are going to want to follow the circle.  Please take time to visit my friend and very talented artist  Janet Douglas and see what she has for you this month. Keep following the circle to see what the other photographers have shared this month.  Don’t forget to leave a little love on their page as well.

Come and share your images  Facebook and Instagram tagging #sharesix_pink

Untitled-1

Tell me a Story: September 2019

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 9249

Today is one of those months where I have two blogs go live in one day.  Earlier on I shared some time in Central Park, New York.  This blog I am going to share our trip to Staten Island.

For every foreigner, New York is that illusive place you hear about, along with Miami, and LA.  It’s in the movies, it in books, you hear about it on television and you feel like you have to visit.  I have seen Miami.  I have now seen New York.  LA will have to be on the trip down under.

Along with New York comes the Statue of Liberty, the welcoming beacon to all of those immigrants so many years ago, and one that today’s immigrants also look to and are thankful for the opportunity to be in the USA.  I am one of those immigrants.

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 9069

While we are immigrants, all of my family still live in South Africa.  This trip was about spending time with my brother and his wife while they were in the USA.  Today’s adventure is just a small part of our day.  We were going to Staten Island, Dumbo, Walk the Brooklyn Bridge, World Trade Center and the 911 Memorial Site.

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 9071

So we were up early and off to the train station.  The train arrived and there was standing room only.  This was the early morning commute. We were squashed into the compartment like sardines in a tin.  It was hot, sweaty and I felt profoundly grateful that I did not have to do this every day, and very sorry for those that did.  And yes, the compartment was air-conditioned but honestly – way to many people.

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 9077

In the pre-planning phase of the trip, we had looked at the cost of the trip to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, the number of people who visit it on a daily basis and the length of time it took.  None of us wanted to go down that avenue. We also had a jam packed day of activities and this was just a small part of it.

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 9078

So a tip to any traveler who wants to see the Statue of Liberty but does not want the cost, crowds and length of time it takes, take a ferry boat ride to Staten Island.  It is free.  It also goes past the Statue of Liberty.  If you have a good camera and a great zoom lens you will get some fairly decent images.  I guess here is the time to make my stupidity confession.  While packing my camera lens, I somehow packed my heavy macro lens instead of my 300mm zoom lens.  Bummer, but at least my lens I used for the trip was a 24-135mm so I had some level of zoom in it.

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 9084

The trip takes about 40 minutes each way and one of the goals was to get the New York Skyline.  I feel like that is what this blog is about mainly.  I managed to get one I was happy with and you will see that I have edited it in a number of different ways.   The image above is linked to my maiden name and so I could not resist taking the Hudson River.  New Jersey on one side and New York on the other.

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 9249

Above is my color edit of the New York skyline.  The day was overcast and we had had a few drops of rain.  No fun for a photographer but it did add to the mood of the black and white images.

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 9087

Ellis Island, so history goes, was in use from 1892 to 1924 and was used as the immigration access point for over 12 million immigrants.  Annie Moore was the first immigrant to step through the doors of Ellis Islands immigration center.  Annie, age 15, was traveling to the USA with her 2 younger brothers in order to meet up with her parents.  All immigrants needed to successfully pass a medical test proving that they had no illnesses.  They also had to pass an interview proving that they could support themselves in this new country and prove that they had sufficient funds with them. After 1917 they also had to prove that they could read.   The island had two nicknames,  “Island of Hope” and in contrast “Island of Tears”.  For if you did not pass any of the tests you were sent home.  From all accounts families got separated at this process.  According to the records April 17, 1907 was Ellis Islands busiest day.  11747 people were processed through the facility that day.

New York: July 20-24, 2019:

I always thought the Statue of Liberty was built as a beacon welcoming foreigners to it’s shore, but reading history today tells me otherwise.  According to history the statue of liberty’s origins lay in France. Edouard de Laboulaye presented the idea to the sculptor Frederic Bartholdi.  Bartholdi designed, raised funds and chose the location of where the statue would be situated.  This statue was to be a gift from the people of France

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 9106

The statue was built in a number of stages and shipped to the USA. Gustave Eiffel, famously known for the Eiffel Tower, was hired to build the internal construction of the the statue, an iron grid structure would give support to the statue.  The outer form was constructed from copper which has oxidized and turned green over the years.  The statue is meant to represent the freedom and liberty of the United States Government.  She was designed and modeled after the goddess Liberatas.  Enlightenment of the world is symbolically represented in the torch that she holds up high, and the tablet represents the law.  The tablet has an inscription date in Roman numerals of July 1776.  The chains at her feet are said to represent breaking free from tyranny.

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 9249

Above is my silhouette version of New York City.  Black and white city images add character for me and are definitely one of my favorite ways to see a city.

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 9126

In the distance is the view of Jersey Island, New York City and Brooklyn to the right with a slight glimpse of the Statue of Liberty.  Before we knew it we were looking forward and at the arrival point to Staten Island.

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 9144

Staten Island is not a small island, and we did not have the time to explore much there but we did get to walk along the waterfront for a short bit of time.

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 9151

As we were arriving so ferries were preparing to leave.

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 9152

The waterfront area was colorful and interesting and we quickly found a Starbucks to get our early morning java.

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 9162

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 9163

Below was one of my favorite views on Staten Island, and so while my brother and sister in law were visiting the pharmacy, I took the opportunity to head back to this area and take some photo’s of this statue.

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 9167

Of course, for me, I love to see this kind of artwork in black and white so I have detoured from color here to fill my need to see city scenes in monochrome.

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 9169

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 9171

This was the last hazy shot from Staten Island of New York City before we headed back to the ferry to do the 40 minute trip back to the mainland and on to Dumbo.

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 9178

Clearly people love to have fun out on the water and it was great to see these jet ski’s out and about.

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 9248

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 9097

Some interesting facts about the Statue of Liberty:

The green exterior of the Statue of Liberty is copper that has changed color due to oxidation.

If you are up to climbing the statue right to the top of the crown, plan on being fit, you will need to navigated 354 steps.  In fact I am not sure that you are allowed to do that anymore.

The statue’s  face is supposed to represent the mother of the sculptor Bartholdi.

Immigrants arriving at Ellis Island were most likely to see the Statue of Liberty first.

The total weight of the statue is approximately 225 tons.

The spikes or rays sticking out from the crown are supposed to represent the seven continents and seven seas of the world.

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 9249

My last interpretation of the New York City Skyline – gritty and grainy.  New York City has it’s own unique character and a dense population.  This is added to by the sheer volume of visitors to the city.   Some areas I found a little dirty and other areas I loved.

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 9255

As we approached the landing bays again, I was struck by the multi-levels of this city.  Amidst the tall glass structures are these small buildings and at times I felt the view upwards looked a little like stepping stones.

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 9272

The docking area has these protection areas built between each docking station made up by numerous posts of wood, preventing ships from bumping up against each other.

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 9273

We are out of the harbor and our view right now is of Brooklyn Bridge.  Yes, we are heading there and yes we are going to cross it.  So it is off to the train station again to catch the “under the river” train to the town of Dumbo, where we will begin our walk to the bridge.

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 9292

This was a once in a lifetime shot for me, as the train was coming in.  I attempted it a couple of other times and did not get what I was looking for.

Thank you for joining me this month as we spend time sharing another day in our lives.  This is a circle blog.  Take some time to view what the other artists have for you this month.  Mindy Sauvageau  is up next and I can’t wait to read what she has to share.

 

 

 

30 Minutes in the Life: September 2019

It’s July, it’s the hottest day in New York City and yours truly is not in air-conditioning, no!, we are walking through Central Park.  Welcome to 30 minutes in the Life and this is mine plus a few additional minutes 🙂

You may remember that I did a quick overview of the New York City trip.  Honestly, that was 15 of about 1500 images.  Since the Rochester training trip my life has got a little hectic and honestly I feel like I do not have the time to go out.  I have become in the last couple of months a workaholic because I know I have a deadline to pull together a brand new system and ensure that it is ready to go live before the end of the year.  No pressure here, but it makes it a little harder to get out and go walking in the city looking for photo’s to take.  Added to that South Florida is miserably hot.

Part of this day we planned to walk in Central park and then head to the Natural History Museum to cool off and spend the hottest part of the day inside there.  I think a million other people had the same idea.  So off we go, water in hand, camera bag on my back, and a bus ticket in my hand.  We arrive at Central Park and need to cross the road.  I have this image in my mind of looking up a New York City street with iconic taxi’s in my view.  Moving and taking pics is not working so I get to the side of the road and stop to get my images.

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 8972

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 8778

Lesson one.  When you are out with people who are not taking the same photographs as you, keep an eye on them.  Oh yes, I lost them. Of course, they did not keep an eye on me either.  They wandered off, not waiting for me.  I went down the way I thought I had seen Richard go.  Walked down this off beaten pathway with a stranger who also seemed to be “lost” and eventually came out at the through road.

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 8783

Crossing the road, I discovered I was in Shakespeare’s Garden.  No family but the garden was really pretty.  So I meandered around the gardens, which I might add were really tranquil and finally decided that since I had not found them I should go back to the through road and try and figure out where the castle was.

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 8787

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 8790

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 8793

I did not find the maps terribly user friendly.  The WhatsApp group had gone silent despite a number of messages being sent by yours truly.  Finally I stop at a concession cart and ask for directions on how to get to the castle.  The seller gives me directions and off I go.  Once again I am following a road blindly.  There were no directional maps nearby and my gps now tells me I have a long walk around the lake, so I plod on.

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 8798

Just as I am passing Romeo and Juliet and then a major row of toilets, my phone rings (which it could have done far earlier) and it is Richard asking me where I am.

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 8801

Umm, I am on the other side of the lake looking at Belvedere Castle.  Yip.  Probably if I had looked really closely, I could have seen them all glaring at me.  However, If I had gone the way they had gone I would not have seen then next few beautiful views.

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 8803

New York: July 20-24, 2019:

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 8808

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 8809

Off I plod again.  I say plod because my feet are kind of sore already.  Remember that post op feet are still not what they should be.  They still get sore pretty quickly.

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 8817

Finally I arrived the Belvedere Castle, to the faces of 3 unhappy people.  Oh well, you can’t win them all.  At least I got the spectacular (in my mind) front view of the castle over the lake.  I certainly enjoyed the views from the tower looking over central park.  Richard told me to walk through the castle, while my brother and his wife went walking down by the lake.

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 8845

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 8824

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 8825

New York: July 20-24, 2019:

Once I was done we headed down to the lake and enjoyed the cooler tree covered pathways.

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 8848

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 8850

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 8855

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 8864

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 8867

We walked back around towards the castle and up onto the lower level to take the short cut back to the main road.  Apparently the short cut that I should have taken.  I traveled the long road.

I traveled the long road
Just so you would listen
I traveled the long road
Just me and my intuition
No body seemed to understand just why I left with the clothes on my back
They asked why such a drastic change
I just know that my decision will put me on track
That’s why I traveled the long road
So I can smile again
Feel good inside again
Maybe even laugh again
Hey yeah yeah, I am going to travel
~ Jully Black
🙂 🙂 🙂

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 8875

Richard went off to find the bathroom, and while I was waiting who should arrive but my brother and his wife.  So we waited for Richard before heading off again.  As you can see I quickly got behind.  This set the tone for the rest of the stay.  They walked ahead, I meandered, stopped, smiled and caught up.  They rested while waiting for me, so the minute I caught up they moved on – no rest for the weary that was for sure.

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 8876

We did head back to central park another day but the upper end of it.  It wasn’t as interesting as the lower end to be honest, but there was one stop we made at a pretty lake.

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 8878

So that was Central Park, done and dusted.  Did I like it, yes although it was a little stressful and seriously hot. I think we were all overheated.  Next stop was the Natural History Museum.  Richard is not a big museum fan and after 60 minutes I got a call to say he was leaving.  I kind of headed out as well.  We stopped grabbed some lunch and shade, tried the WhatsApp again for the other two but no luck, so we headed down to Times Square and Grand Central Station.

Thank you for joining us for another month of 30 Minutes. Just a reminder that this is a circle blog.  We have a number of new ladies join the 30 minutes group, making us now 11 active bloggers, and I would encourage you to take some time to visit my very talented friend Ceri Herd Photography and see what she has for you this month.  I am pretty  excited to learn more about these wonderful ladies from all over the world.  I would certainly encourage you to visit their pages.  If you have time I have a second blog going simultaneously of our trip to Staten Island.